HPM Wackett


High Planes Models 1/72 CAC Wackett Trainer


Review by David Harvey

 

Review Type

First Look

Scale:

1/72

Price:

$22.37 AUD from High Planes Models

Contents and Media:

1 x plastic sprue, 2 x vacform canopies, 3 x decal sheets

Advantages:

Fine surface detail

Disadvantages:

Clean up required, some poor decals

Recommendation:

Recommended

 

Introduction

Designed to meet a RAAF pre-war specification for a 2 seat monoplane elementary trainer, the Wackett was the first in-house design of CAC following its formation to build the Wirraway.

The Wackett had a cockpit layout similar to the Wirraway, and although the Wackett has fixed undercarriage it had a dummy lever to allow trainee pilots to become familiar with the control in aircraft with retractable undercarriage, such as the Wirraway.

Serving with the RAAF from 1941 to 1945, over 40 aircraft entered the civil register and a further 30 served with the NEIAF prior to Indonesea’s independence, the first Australian design and made aircraft to serve in a foreign Airforce.

The instructions

The instructions for the kit have been revamped and are now clear and have full colour profiles of the aircraft being represented. Having seen the old High Planes Wackett instructions I must say that these are much better presented than the originals.

The instructions provide a parts breakdown, short history of the type, basic build instructions and colour profiles. The build instructions are basic as there is not a great deal of parts to put together. As there is minimal interior you are provided with a diagram of the internal framing that you can scratchbuild if you wish.

The colour profiles are very well done and drawn by Derek Buckmaster. There are also several detail shots of a Wackett to use as reference when scratchbuilding the interior.

The plastic

I will say this first – these are the old HPM sprues! The sprue comes in the HPM blue plastic that is very well known. As with all the older kits you need to conduct a great deal of cleaning up and test fitting of the plastic prior to construction.

The exterior of the kit shows very fine and well done panel lines with fine detail as well. The interior is very basic and you will need to do some scratchbuilding to bring it to life but how much you do is totally up to you.

You are supplied two vacform canopies ‘just in case’ as all good manufacturers do. These appear to be quite clear and will require steady hands to mask for painting.

 

The decals

The kit has decals for three aircraft:

  • CAC Wackett, A3-191, 1 Wireless Air Gunners School RAAF, Victoria, 1944. Scheme is Foilage Green uppers and Trainer yellow lowers.
  • CAC Wackett, A3-200, 3 Wireless Air Gunners School RAAF, QLD, May 1942 – Feb 1943. Scheme is Green/Brown uppers and Trainer yellow undersides.
  • CAC Wackett, B3-07, Central Flying School Royal, Dutch East Indies Air Force (ML-KNIL), Kali Dutch East Indies, 1947 – 1948. Scheme is all over trainer yellow.

 

The kit comes with three and a bit sheets of decals to cover the aircraft mentioned above. There is a sheet of purely dark blue roundels, a small sheet of gray numbers and a colourful sheet of the remaining Dutch and RAAF markings. The decals appear to have a problem with the printing as there is white dots/marks(?) on a number of the blue and red components of the RAAF/Dutch markings. The yellow roundels are also pixelated as are the red components of the markings, but it’s more obvious on the yellow areas.

The sheet of dark blue/white roundels are much better printing quality but I am unsure of the colour accuracy as they are very dark blue.

 

On consultation with HPM it turns out that the sheet with the serial numbers etc (white backing paper) is an old print and the one with the roundels (blue backing paper) is a new run.

Recommendation

This kit is an old mould High Planes model, there is no escaping that as they are well known for the work required to build them. In saying that though, if the work is done they come out as very nice models of a rarely covered aircraft.

Taking the known difficulties in building the old HPM kits into consideration this one is brought down by the decals of which some are not the greatest.

To that end I recommend this kit for those that want a Wackett in their collection.

Review kit courtesy of and available from High Planes Models.